Hoover offers deepest sympathies after deadly Alabama mall shooting, vows transparency

Hoover offers \deepest sympathies\ after deadly Alabama mall shooting, vows transparency
Alabama police say black mans gun heightened threat
HOOVER, Ala. — Police in Alabama promised transparency Monday after a weekend of protests in response to an officer fatally shooting a black man who pulled out his legally permitted weapon following gunfire at a shopping mall.

Hoover Police initially described the officer as “heroic” for bringing down Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. after two people were wounded at the Riverchase Galleria mall outside Birmingham Thanksgiving night. Then they retracted the statement, saying its “unlikely” Bradford was involved.

As hundreds gathered for pre-Black Friday sales Thursday evening, a gunman opened fire at the Riverchase Galleria. At 9:52 p.m. CT, shoppers began reporting gunshots as hundreds fled from the mall. The Hoover Police Department told news outlets, including NBC, that the Jefferson County Sheriffs Office was conducting an investigation into the shooting, which appears to have started after a fight in the mall. Hoover Police Capt. Gregg Rector said a man pulled a gun after a fight and shot an 18-year-old man twice in the torso. A 12-year-old girl was also injured during the incident. Rector said the girl was alert and talking despite her injury.

Video: Family of man shot, killed by police demands answers

Bradfords father said his son was a 21-year-old Army veteran with a permit to carry a weapon. The statement police released early Monday suggested Bradford shouldnt have pulled it out.

Police arrived at the scene and saw another teenager fleeing the scene. “One of our Hoover officers did engage that individual, shot him and he is dead on the scene,” Rector said. Sadly, the man who was shot by police is no longer believed to have been the original gunman. The deceased was Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. He was 21 years old and police now say that while he “may have been involved in some aspect of the altercation,” evidence determined he was likely not the shooter. The real gunman is still at large.

“We can say with certainty Mr. Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene,” the statement from the city of Hoover and its police department says.

“Unfortunately, an individual lost his life. Unfortunately, one of our police officers had to engage that individual,” Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said during a press conference the night of the shooting. “He did so as a professional. He did so at the risk of his own life. But he stepped in to protect thousands, and Im grateful for that.”

“We extend sympathy to the family of Emantic J. Bradford of Hueytown, who was shot and killed during Hoover Police efforts to secure the scene in the seconds following the original altercation and shooting. The loss of human life is a tragedy under any circumstances,” the statement said.

We are devastated by the incident that happened last night in our shopping center, Lindsay Kahn, a spokesperson for the retail group who owns the mall, said the day after the shooting. We are working closely with the Hoover Police Department and are grateful for their swift action to contain the situation.

Bradfords parents appeared on CNN later Monday morning, saying police still havent spoken with them. They want to see body-camera video, and theyve hired a civil rights attorney, Ben Crump, to help them.

Alabama police suggest man they killed in mall shouldnt have held his gun

“We dont trust the police department because theyve already lied to them. They released his picture all over the world saying he was the shooter and the police officer was a hero,” Crump said.

“From the time that shooting took place, they engaged and it was safe within seconds that it happened,” Derzis said. “You dont see that too often. So very, very proud of that.”

Crump said several witnesses have reached out to the family saying the officer shot Bradford “within milliseconds,” without saying a word to him.

Bradfords father told the Associated Press Saturday night that his son had a permit to carry a gun. He also said it was hurtful to see his son portrayed as the shooter.

“It doesnt matter if youre a good guy with a gun, if youre black the police shoot and kill you and ask questions later,” Crump said.

Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis also had praised the police response, saying he was very, very proud of how officers handled the situation.

The Monday police statement says “body camera video and other available video was immediately turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department as part of the investigation. Now, all evidence has been handed over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to lead the investigation. Release of any video will be done as ALEA deems appropriate during the investigation.”

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The police also expressed sympathy for the family of the 18-year-old man and the 12-year-old girl who were wounded in the initial shooting and said they are “pursuing the initial shooter who still remains at large.”

Family demands answers after police kill man mistaken for mall shooter

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Police in Alabama offered sympathy Monday to the family of a black man killed by an officer responding to a shooting at a shopping mall, but said the mans visible handgun “heightened the sense of threat” to police in an already chaotic scene.

Bradfords parents said Monday they still hadnt received so much as a single phone call from the police to apologize or explain what happened. Cameras reportedly captured the events leading up to Bradfords death, and activists have called for this footage to be released. Its not clear when the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), which has taken over the investigation, will release the raw video to the public, USA Today reports.

Hoover Police initially described its officer as “heroic” for bringing down Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. after two people were wounded at the Riverchase Galleria mall outside Birmingham on Thanksgiving night. Then they retracted the statement, saying he was likely not the gunman responsible for the initial shooting, who remains at large.

“Theres 32 municipalities in Jefferson County. In this particular municipality where this mall is located, theres a history of not necessarily an even playing field, to say it in a delicate manner, when it comes to dealing with African Americans who are found present in that district. So for this to take place… it added to the grief that the community was feeling,” Williams told Sputnik.

The familys lawyer said witnesses told them Bradford was trying to help by waving people to safety, and was shot “within milliseconds” by an officer who didnt say a word to him.

“It doesnt matter if youre a good guy with a gun, if youre black the police shoot and kill you and ask questions later,” attorney Ben Crump said Monday on CNN, one of several national media appearances with Bradfords parents.

“We can say with certainty Mr. Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene,” police officials from Hoover, Alabama, said in a statement Monday.

Alabama police offer new explanation for shooting wrong man

Police and the city of Hoover on Monday issued more detailed statements on the shooting and the investigation. They said Bradford “had a gun in his hand as police officers responded to the active shooter situation between mall patrons.”

Meanwhile, the initial mall shooter who wounded an 18-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl remains at large. Cara McClure, activist and community organizer, and Onoyemi Williams, also a grassroots activist, joined Sputnik Radios By Any Means Necessary from Alabama to discuss the story.

“We can say with certainty Mr. Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene,” the statement said.

US police fatally gunned down Emantic Bradford Jr., 21, on Thanksgiving evening in response to an active shooter situation near an Alabama mall. After slaying Bradford, the police doubled down and blamed the innocent man for his death.

Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford pulled gun during Alabama mall shooting, cops say

“We are deeply and sincerely sympathetic to Mr. Bradfords grieving family and all of those affected by this incident. We all want answers and we believe that with patience and focus, the truth will be firmly established,” the statement says.

People against gun control need to let go of this wet dream of heroically stopping the bad guys and being showered with praise and kisses—because the cops continue to show that they arent equipped to live in a society where anyone might be armed, and frankly, they abuse the possibility and use it to justify murder. Our normal is one where anyone could get shot at any time, and we just have to react. If theyre so scared all the time, maybe we need to de-escalate as a society and stop trying to pretend an environment where guns are so accessible isnt a preternaturally hostile one.

Police suggest black Good Samaritan they shot is to blame for his own death

Bradfords parents said they want to see body-camera video, and Crump is exploring the familys options.

“We dont trust the police department because theyve already lied to them. They released his picture all over the world saying he was the shooter and the police officer was a hero,” Crump said.

Family of man killed by police on Black Friday wants answers

The Monday police statement says “body camera video and other available video was immediately turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department as part of the investigation. Now, all evidence has been handed over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to lead the investigation. Release of any video will be done as ALEA deems appropriate during the investigation.”

Alabama Cops Kill 21-Year-Old After They Say He Opened Fire in a Mall. Now They Say He DidntWTF Is Wrong With Alabama?There Was Another Mass Shooting This Weekend But No One CaresAbout the authorNatalie DegraffinriedNatalie DegraffinriedNatalie Degraffinried is news editor for The Root.

ALEA said Monday that the results of the investigation will be turned over to the district attorneys office.

Emantic EJ Bradford, 21, was killed by a police officer who was responding to an active shooter situation on Thursday evening. After calling the officer heroic, the police realized they had killed the wrong person and said it was unlikely Bradford was involved.

The shooting sparked a weekend protest at the mall, with demonstrators chanting Bradfords name as they walked past Christmas shoppers to the spot where he was killed. The city and police on Monday promised transparency and said they would begin offering weekly updates to the news mediea and public.

The Monday morning statement says We can say with certainty Mr. Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene.

Bradfords father, a former longtime employee of the Birmingham Police Department, said his son had a permit to carry a concealed handgun. The Jefferson County Sheriffs Office, which issues concealed carry permits, referred questions to ALEA on whether Bradford had a permit to carry a concealed handgun.

Now theyre saying his decision to brandish a gun on the scene—a gun his father says he had a permit for—led to his own death.

The code of conduct posted on the Riverchase Gallerias website says firearms and illegal weapons are prohibited.

Family members expressed frustration and anger that the young man was initially presumed to be the shooter in the incident.

“I knew my son didnt do that. People rushed to judgment. They shouldnt have done that,” Emantic Bradford, Sr. told The Associated Press.

The police also expressed sympathy for the family of the 18-year-old man and the 12-year-old girl who were wounded in the initial shooting and said they are “pursuing the initial shooter who still remains at large.”


Posted in Birmingham